My Favorite Load for the .45

After a considerable amount of experimenting, I have determined the components and measurements that produce the most accurate load for my .45 caliber pistol at both 50 and 25 yards. You must experiment to find a load that works best for your pistol, yet utilizes components that are affordable.


Star 185 grain swaged HP SWC


Starline or Federal Brass


3.9 grains Alliant Bullseye


Federal Large Pistol


1.213" regardless of case length


.473" at case mouth


1.923" average 10 shot groups at 50 yd.


Flawless Feeding and Cycling (11# recoil spring)


Les Baer Bullseye Model w/ Scope on Slide

A True Hardball Load for .45 Service Pistol

The following represents recipies to duplicate a true .45 caliber hardball load.

The NRA has published some load info that should fill your needs.

American Rifleman June 1993, pgs. 44-45
Loads to simulate Hardball recoil and energy 850 +/- 30 FPS vel

200-220 WC lead (such as Lyman 452460) OAL 1.16"
4.6-5.0 gr BE, Red or Green Dot, 700X
6.0-6.5 gr Unique
5.5-6.0 gr WW231
The above loads can also be used with a 230 gr FMJ bullet to get 850 FPS
+/- 30 with overall length of 1.25"

American Rifleman January 1987, pg. 66
Loads to Duplicate Military Ball Ammo

230 gr FMJ
4.6 gr BE
5.6 gr WW231
6.5 gr Unique

A Load for the 9mm Service Pistol

Here is a 9mm load that David Sams has been using for testing Beretta 92 barrels and his completed guns that has been proven sub 1.5" groups at 50 yds is as follows:

Out of a barrel test fixture using Bar-Sto barrels groups have consistently run between  .975" to 1.5" averaging about 1". Through David's completed 92F's, he claims that they have been running 1.3" - 1.5" as a reminder these are hand-loaded.

A Load for the .32 Caliber Pistol

Here is a .32 S&W Long load, courtesy of Dr. Darius Young, for the .32 caliber center-fire pistol. It is designed for pistols that have had replacement barrels of .308" diameter and yields remarkable results at 50 yds.

Manufacturers of Reloading Components

Dillon Precision

The maker of the finest progressive presses for the money!

Nosler Bullets

Manufacurer of popular and accurate jacketed bullets.

Hornady Bullets

Manufacturer of bullets and other components for reloading.

Starline Brass

The Sedalia, Mo. company makes fine handgun brass.


Winchester reloading components and reloading guide.

Barnes Bullets

Another well-known U.S. bulletmaker.

Alliant Powders

Alliant (formerly Hercules) manufactures the finest gun powders.

Vihtavuori Oy

Finland's superb manufacturer of gun powders.

Hodgdon Powders   

The Shawnee Mission, Kansas manufacturer of gun powders.

IMR Powders

IMR manufactures a full line of gun powders.

Lyman Products

Lyman reloading components and equipment.